Greater Faydark is one of the largest and most confusing regions in all of the world of Norrath. It is quite large, and also has the added bonus of being dark at all times with few landmarks to tell where you are at any given time. It is the home of the wood elves, and is also the newbie area for the wood elves, high elves, and half elves that start out in Kelethin and Felwithe. It is also very near the homes of both the dwarves and the gnomes, so many members of those races are seen here as well.
Although Greater Faydark is a large zone, there are not too many areas of interest. Most of what can happen here is that one can get lost, so it's best to simply stick to the paths and not wander too far unless you know where you are going or have a good direction sense. The only area of note not on a path is Crushbone, and it is so close to Kelethin that you don't need to wander.
Greater Faydark is a relatively safe place to travel and fight in, barring the area near Crushbone which I will discuss further down. The rest of the zone is relatively safe, and the only inherently aggressive creatures here are the orcs. They tend to wander all over the zone, and include orc pawns which are second level near the cities and orc centurions further out (which can be as high as 9th). These are the biggest danger travelling away from the path and also occasionally on the path. Of the other monsters, none are notable except that they will all group to attack you if you are fighting others of their kind. Also, you can make some serious enemies by attacking wolves and pixies, so I wouldn't unless you know what you are doing. Notably, however, I have to hunt pixies as part of a ranger quest and have killed many of them and they still leave me alone.
Nearer Crushbone, however, things take on a different feel. There are no reliable guards nearby that you can run to, and the environment in terms of the orcs that roam here and the other players changes considerably. The orcs that appear here are only rarely ones that stay in one spot, and you have to be prepared for others wandering by to join in any battle you find yourself in. Also, the orcs here are tougher, and there was still pretty good hunting for me at 7th level when I'm spending most of my time in Crushbone. A lot of adventurers at level 3 or 4 wander over here, and it's no surprise that the ground is littered with their corpses.
The other problem with Greater Faydark, more of an annoyance really, is that it is vastly overcrowded. A few nights ago I logged on and there were 145 people in Greater Faydark. If I had logged into Innothule there would have been maybe 45 people. This means that it sometimes is very difficult to find creatures to hunt, and the only place to meet a good number of creatures to kill is in front of Crushbone, which I already discussed above. On this island, as a newbie, I would travel to the area in front of Kaladim and hunt there instead, or the little newbie area tucked away in the back of Steamfont Mountains, where there are less people and less danger.
The other thing to be aware of is that the guards in Greater Faydark are some of the densest guards around. They stand right next to you and watch you get pounded on before they consider responding, so I would run to them sooner than usual because you're going to need some life to last while they figure out that that centurion is indeed not a wood elf.
Starting in Greater Faydark has got its problems, but despite that has many benefits as well. First of all, selling and buying items in Kelethin is very easy as it is the only starting city where you don't have to zone at all to reach it. Also, for other merchants the surrounding area is wonderful as Kelethin has most of the goods necessary to make items (with the occasional short jaunt to Steamfont for smithing supplies). This also works on the other end, because with 145 people logged on, there is a huge market for just about any good you can sell.
This area, like the other areas on the island, is excellent because you have ready access to all of the other zones of the island. This may not sound like much, but a lot of good work went into designing this island to be self-sufficient, and if you know the island well, there are places for you to go to hunt that are perfectly suited to your level, and are at most 2 short zones away.
An example might make this clear. My wood elf ranger started in Kelethin. He made his way to 4th level killing orc pawns and other creatures around the base of Kelethin. Then he headed to Butcherblock where he hunted in the valley on the way to the docks. Here lie not too many creatures, but the ones that do are scarabs and goblins, all my level or lower. I hunted those and went to 5th and made a ton of money. I hunted scattered large snakes at the opposite end of Butcherblock, and then went and checked out Crushbone. Someone had given me a Minotaur Axe at that point, so I could take on gambles by myself and hunted there for a while, and then headed back to Butcherblock to take out goblin camps through 6th level. I'm back in Crushbone for 7th, and after I hit 8th I'm headed to Steamfont to take on the creatures by the gate. After 9th I don't know what I'm doing, because I expect spells to change my life.
Inherently, Greater Faydark also has the benefit of having easy access within itself to good hunting sites. As you can tell from the above example, my wood elf spent a great deal of time travelling here, and the zone is excellent for anyone up to and including about 6th level. After that you really need to move on to Crushbone or one of the other zones on the island. I knew it was time to move on when I took out an orc centurion, an oracle, and a shaman all at the same time.
Travelling To and From Greater Faydark
To the North of Greater Faydark lies Crushbone, although there is no exit on the other side of Crushbone. Felwithe lies to the east of Crushbone in the southeastern corner of Greater Faydark. Approximately two-thirds of the way across the southern edge of the zone is the entrance to Lesser Faydark, which is how you get to Steamfont Mountains (take a left once you pass into Lesser Faydark at about 45 degrees and run for about 2 minutes, you'll hit the edge and the zone).
Following the path across the southern edge of Greater Faydark to the western wall you'll reach Butcherblock Mountains. You can reach this by following the path past Lesser Faydark to its completion.
Last, but not least, there is a set of portal towers located directly on the path between the zone edge to Lesser Faydark and the zone edge to Butcherblock. Follow the path east from them to head towards Felwithe, Kelethin, or Lesser Faydark, and west to Butcherblock Mountains.
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